Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

So the Yankees have moved into first in the AL East after taking the first two games of their series with Boston this week. The two ancient rivals will be jockeying for position all season long. Problem is, despite the new rules designed to speed up the game (i.e. automatic intentional walks, limited mound visits), the Red Sox & Yanks still play at a glacial pace. Wednesday's game, a 9-6 Yankee win, clocked in just under 4 hours for a 9 inning game. Apparently, when it comes to these two teams, milking the drama is more important......
In contrast, the Mets have fallen to 4th place in the NL East, 3 games in arrears of resurgent Atlanta, after dropping a 2-1 decision to Cincinnati in 10 innings Wednesday. The bigger story, even though it really had little impact on the final tally, was a lineup blunder by the Mets in the 1st. Something like that hasn't happened to them in more than 40 years.

Apparently, the sudden heat wave also resulted in some communication issues, as the computer-printed lineup card posted in the dugout didn't match the one exchanged with the Reds. Even winning manager Jim Riggleman felt sorry for first year Mets skipper Mickey Calloway. That batting out of turn happens so infrequently makes it, really, a non-issue, but fodder instead for jokes for a few days.
The Colonial Council has finally updated its baseball standings. Well, not entirely. Apparently, someone wants badly for Ichabod Crane to win the league title. The Riders, as of press time, are credited with a 14-1 league record. In truth, they're tied with Albany Academy, which is also 14-1 in the league after destroying Cobleskill-Richmondville, 15-0, on Wednesday. The Cadets' record, according to the website, is 10-1, meaning 4 wins have not been included. The Riders & Cadets split the season series, as we've documented, so they would be co-champions at the end of the season, provided neither team loses its remaining league games. Academy closes the league portion of the schedule tomorrow vs. Schalmont, weather permitting, and will finish with a non-league game vs. Shaker on Tuesday.

Luckily, the mercy rule is in place for softball. The Lady Riders got a second straight no hitter from senior pitcher Calista Phippen, this one going five innings, in thrashing Catholic Central, 26-0, on Wednesday. Would that the league would put the rule in place for the regular season, but apparently league officials weren't prepared for all these blowouts this season. The Daily Gazette incorrectly stated that Phippen had tossed a second perfecto, because their own linescore shows the Lady Riders committed 5 errors.

Meanwhile, LaSalle posted its second straight 20-6 win on Wednesday, this time routing Lansingburgh. The message has been sent to the rest of Class AA. These Cadets are ready to make a run.
A couple more no-hitters in Section 2. Ichabod Crane's baseball team had one the other day in shutting out Schalmont, matching Phippen's perfecto. Shenendehowa's Brandon Disonell threw a no-hitter Wednesday, as the Plainsmen defeated Ballston Spa.
Troy High's softball team is definitely ready for sectionals. The Lady Horses beat Bethlehem, 7-2, on Wednesday. Maddie Rifenberick hit a 3 run HR to lead the way, as Troy has now won four of their last 5 with 2 to play.

Unfortunately, the Troy-Bethlehem baseball result was not reported by press time. Troy's lacrosse team will play their final 2 games in twilight, as they host Bethlehem tonight and Burnt Hills on Tuesday, with both games starting at 7 pm. The Albany Times-Union incorrectly listed tonight's game as a noon start.
Most expansion teams are expected to struggle. Not the NHL's Las Vegas Golden Knights, who have reached the Western Conference finals in their freshman season. As was pointed out the other day, this is not new in the NHL, as there've been at least a couple of other teams who have gotten into the postseason right out of the box. It doesn't happen in other sports at the pro level.

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